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Digital Arts Center to be Created at ArtCenter/South Florida

MIAMI BEACH, FL.- ArtCenter/South Florida will open the John S. and James L. Knight Center for the Digital Arts in December 2009, a cutting-edge technology program and lab that will allow the public to explore digital arts in a dynamic, inclusive environment. Digital media has been, for many, a voice that embraces modern technology as part of human expression. The ADA-accessible center, to be located at ArtCenter’s 924 Lincoln Road building, is being made possible by a $150,000 Knight Foundation Arts Partnership grant.

“The generous gift ArtCenter received from Knight Foundation will greatly enhance its ability to pursue the mission of making contemporary art and practices accessible to the public,” said Executive Director Jeremy Chestler. “The new facility will allow us to provide greater support for artists living and working in South Florida, contributing to our community through knowledge and empowerment through technology.”

By providing access to the use of a digital technology, the John S. and James L. Knight Center for Digital Arts will transform ways in which hundreds of artists — both novices and professionals — make art. ACSF’s low-income affiliated and unaffiliated artists will have a level playing field for career advancement, with access to a location to work and gain additional training without the costly burden of purchasing necessary software and equipment. The facility will also attract new artists to ArtCenter/South Florida as it begins to build a reputation for state-of-the art digital support services. Through outreach programs that bus youth to ACSF, low-income students in underserved areas within the City of Miami Beach, and mid and northern Dade will all have access to technology and instruction non-existent in their own schools or neighborhoods. “As knowledge often leads to innovation, they will learn about potential careers in film and video-making, graphic and web design, and editing sound; they might consider working as a traditional artist or simply be inspired to appreciate contemporary art,” said Chestler.

ACSF’s artists-in residence will have free access to the John S. and James L. Knight Center for the Digital Arts and unaffiliated artists including Open Lab participants will pay a nominal fee; scholarships for Art Studies classes will be available for individuals able to establish financial need.

The Knight Foundation Arts Partnership is a five-year, $40 million initiative to transform the South Florida arts. The effort includes endowment grants to leading arts institutions, plus a community-wide contest to fund the best arts ideas. As one of the longest-running, contemporary arts organizations in Miami, ACSF is proud to be among the top non-profits advancing Knight Foundation’s goal of transforming the local artscape.

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